These Boots Were Made for Walking...
If you were at Gastrofest last week, you witnessed yet another successful food and drink festival for Jacksonville. But this year was a little different for us at Legacy Ale Works. I, Liz Jacobs took to social media in February to announce that I would be brewing my first beer and decided to enter it into the Homebrew Competition at Gastrofest, hosted by the Jax Beer Society. And though I had the support of my husband and head brewer Matt, I challenged myself to do this batch completely on my own - from recipe creation to purchasing grains (with some help from the fellas at Just Brew It) to brewing it on our homebrew system.
Un Poco de Piña was the name of my Piña Colada Cream Ale. My first test batch was a huge success - 2.5 gallons of perfectly balanced pineapple and toasted coconut with hints of rum and a woody oak aroma. However, when I scaled up my recipe, I changed one key component, my ale yeast, and that simple change would affect my final product. Though the pineapple and coconut flavors made an appearance in the final product, the cream ale was too hazy for it's style, it was slightly under carbonated and ultimately had a heavier mouthfeel than it was supposed to. I didn't win the competition (not that I expected to - it WAS my first attempt after all), but I was excited to be one of only two female participants in this year's competition. Ashley, a fellow competitor has been brewing for 8 years and brought a Lavender infused Green Tea IPA which got rave reviews from the crowd.
I was honored to be representing fellow lady brewers in the competition and it inspired me to take my involvement in the beer community to the next step - I officially became a member of the Pink Boots Society. PBS is a national non-profit association of women in the beer industry. As a brewery owner, I qualify for the program and have joined the Florida Chapter of PBS and stand alongside amazing powerhouse women in the Craft Beer Industry in Florida such as Maria Cabre, Assistant Brewer for J. Wakefield Brewing in Miami and Felonice Merriman, Co-Owner of Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks in West Palm Beach.
I am looking forward to getting more involved with our brewing, developing my skill further and who knows, possibly even a collaboration in the works- you'll have to stay tuned to find out! And if you missed Un Poco de Piña, don't worry, we're giving it another shot at the Hogtown Craft Beer Festival in Gainesville this month, but don't worry - I left the brewing to the expert... this time.